Prayer is Our Secure Communication Channel to the Father, Inviting His Presence in the Battles Between Kingdoms in Conflict
In any battle, secure and reliable communication channels are absolutely essential.
In the ancient wars, Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar used relay teams to carry messages to soldiers in battle and generals in command. Genghis Khan did the same but added homing pigeons to carry messages over battles. Eventually, signal communication became popular with hand motions and flags both on land and sea. Later, the electronic telegraph was invented along with Morse code. Modern technology, including the radio, telephone, airplane, television, computer, and internet all began, to some degree, as a military attempt at gaining communication advantage.
There are two kingdoms at war: the kingdom of lies and the kingdom of truth. There is the kingdom of death, and there is the kingdom of life. Disobedience and obedience are at war. Good and evil are doing battle.
The Great Demonic Deception
Many people mistakenly think that there are two people in their relationship with God, but there are three. Your faith walk is not just you and God, but you and God and the enemy of you and your God. Not everything that happens is from God; there is plenty of evil and folly in the world. Sadly, every time something evil or foolish happens, some Christians blame God or people and overlook the possibility of spiritual warfare. This oversight is part of the great demonic deception.
A Secure Communication Channel
Every day, the prayers we pray, words we speak and decisions we make either invite the kingdom of God down into our lives or pull the kingdom of hell up into our lives. The world we live in is the battlefield between these kingdoms in conflict, and prayer is our secure communication channel to the Father and our divine family, inviting their presence in our lives and battles. Satan and his demonic army can read the words we write and type, and hear the words we speak, but they cannot know the thoughts of our minds or longings of our heart because they are not God. In this way silent prayer is a private and secure communication channel for us to God.
Our Father’s Kingdom on Earth
The kingdoms of light and darkness are at war in this world, but one day our Father’s kingdom will completely crush Satan and his kingdom with the arrival of the new heaven and the new earth. Until that day, however, we are to pray for our Father’s kingdom to be made known in the earth through such things as love, peace, racial unity, forgiveness, and generosity for all, especially the poor and the marginalized.
Jesus did this by unleashing the Beatitudes, the opening declarations of the great kingdom blueprint we call the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says that in God’s kingdom, the mourners will be comforted, the meek get a generous inheritance, the hungry are well fed, the merciful receive mercy, and so on. And He follows these declarations with the announcement that Christians are supposed to be preservers (salt) and witnesses (light) of this kingdom to the entire earth.
Because we are the Father’s kids, we want to see this happen so that we can all finally be home, and the war can finally be over. So, we work and pray for this kingdom to show up and be made manifest on the earth. It begins with individuals and communities praying this will happen. As our hearts are stirred, we are then compelled to move our feet and use our hands to serve this kingdom.
Aligning Ourselves With God’s Will
Worship includes music and singing songs, but it is much more than this. It is also about living lives that do God’s will. Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV).
Worship is praying for the kingdom to come, and then living as a citizen of that kingdom out of love for King Jesus. Prayer is how we align ourselves with God’s will and position ourselves to help build God’s kingdom.
Life is difficult. Jesus told us it would be. You might get cancer or lose your job. There’s a good chance that you’ll struggle, be abandoned, or be betrayed. And it’s okay to ask God to fix it. But we must train ourselves to accept God’s will and submit to it. It’s a good thing to pray, “Your will be done,” because it reveals our trust in God and acknowledges that His way is better and higher than our desires.
In prayer we tell God our will, but we ultimately seek His will. Sometimes prayer moves God’s hands. Most of the time, prayer moves our hearts. God doesn’t much need prayer, but we do. Prayer sometimes changes our circumstances so that we can get around hardship, but most of the time, prayer changes us so that we can get through our hardship.
For our hearts to trust God above all else, we must begin worshipfully praying for our wills to be aligned with His will.
In every relationship we can find ourselves at a point of disagreement with someone. We sometimes refuse even to discuss the matter with them for the simple fact that we are not open to reconsidering our point of view. Once we are willing to sit down and discuss a point of disagreement with someone, we are opening ourselves up to having a change of mind. Prayer does precisely this; it is our way of talking out a tough issue with God so that in the context of the loving relationship, we can come into agreement with God and have one vision for the future and walk forward together. Prayer is not how we come to have God do our will, but together with God, we agree on His will.
‘Your Will be Done’
The life of faith is trusting God’s will until we see it one day at the end of this life. Old preachers were fond of an illustration to help make this point. They would say that life is like an old knitting loom. From under the loom, as you look up at the yarn, all you see is a mess of knots. But, as you look down on the loom from above, a glorious and carefully threaded tapestry emerges, and a beautiful picture can be seen.
When we pray, “Your will be done,” we are acknowledging that our vantage point on this side of the loom is not the clearest. We are trusting that our Father on the other side of the loom is knitting something glorious together with the threads and knots of life, and one day, we will sit with Him on the other side to see it and celebrate it.
Mark Driscoll is a prolific author and the senior pastor of Trinity Church in Arizona.
Ashley Chase, Driscoll’s daughter, studied theology at Capernwray Bible School and graduated from Arizona State University’s Master’s program. A gifted Bible teacher, she is the Director of Real Faith Ministry, based in Arizona.
This content was excerpted from their book, Pray Like Jesus.